Quest East Melbourne is a uniquely admired art deco property oozing style and sophistication.
Over the last 12 months a significant transformation has occurred, culminating in a dramatic and stylish refurbishment. As a result, an exceptional and refined building has been unveiled that significantly sets the standard for quality serviced apartment offerings on the outskirts of the Melbourne CBD.
Quest’s properties are owned and operated by franchisees and at Quest East Melbourne the franchise manager is Jenny Mulqueen. She is the person who will most likely check her guests in and recommend the best places to eat around town. She receives guest feedback and understands that most of her visitors loved the original style and décor but “the property was starting to look tired and needed an update”. Jenny explained the main problem in the rooms was the joinery as it had been effected by the sun, the cupboard doors had been discoloured by UV rays and the paintwork and carpets needed to be refreshed.
Higgins, a major building and painting company was appointed to undertake the upgrade of the relevant fittings in the building and to co-ordinate the overall project, including installation of the furnishings and décor. As the property continued to operate during this period there was a requirement to balance the needs of the property management and meeting scheduled deadlines with completing the everyday tasks of running a business. The priority, of course was to not adversely impact upon general business operations and ultimately minimise disturbance to the guests staying in-house.
For the overall design of the refurbishment works, including relevant fittings and the production of furniture and décor, an FF&E company called Furn-niche was appointed and given a brief by Jenny to keep the sophisticated feel of the building’s art deco heritage but to also update the rooms to meet evolved guest needs.
It was important for the rooms to look plush but also to assert a boutique feel. For instance, the beautiful broadloom carpets that were chosen were most certainly not a run of the mill hotel flooring. With help from Furn-niche they tendered for the carpet layer, painters and cabinet makers. “Of course,” says Jenny. “The one who came up with the best quote we took on and Higgins and Furn-niche looked after them all when they were on site.”
A program of work was developed for each floor. The process consisted of each room being cleared of furniture while any that was to be re-used was stored in another room and all other furniture was donated to St Vincent’s. When the old carpets were stripped out and the TV and curtains stored, the cabinet makers could begin to fit all new exterior doors to the cupboards. Then painters completed their job with the carpets laid at the end. Hallways were painted and carpeted approximately two thirds of the way through each floor.
All the new furniture was delivered by Grace Removalists and taken straight to the rooms, floor by floor, room by room, every two weeks. Due to the storage restriction at the property, this was the most effective way to complete the refurbishment. All the TVs and blinds were re-hung, the room was styled and cleaned, ready for the first guests.
This system of completing one room at a time and one floor at a time meant that every trade person had to follow on directly from the one before, so timing was the key. This was not as easy as it appeared on paper but, according to Jenny, “minimised disruption to guests and therefore the business”.
The guest reaction to the overall transformation Jenny assures “has been truly amazing”. The quality and style of the makeover ensures that Quest East Melbourne continues to deliver the optimum experience to all their visitors. They have managed to maximise the quality, style, history and functionality of the self-contained apartments and have integrated technology and business facilities.
Jenny believes the interior design brief was successfully fulfilled by Furn-niche. From the custom furniture to plush carpets and interior finishes, the whole look compliments the art deco theme beautifully to create a luxurious but effective and practical space.
The astonishing renewal of the studio style accommodation is outstanding. Each has one or two queen beds, kitchenette facilities, LCD TVs with Foxtel and all are equipped with free wifi and iPod docking stations. Guests here can now enjoy the tasteful and modern accommodation, equipped with the latest technology and complimented with astonishing artwork by a local artist, Jeffrey Makin. These beautiful artworks depict iconic natural landscapes and they add to the peace and serenity of this historical gem.
Located at 48 Wellington Parade, Quest East Melbourne is in a great position, easily accessible to Melbourne’s CBD and just a short walk from the famous MCG. In addition, the property has a stunning rooftop garden that provides panoramic views of the Melbourne skyline and associated parklands.
With good service a priority and such a convenient location, when guests arrive at Quest East Melbourne they are already smiling but since the refurbishment guest reactions have been wonderful. Jenny said, “Our regulars comment on how great it looks and new guests give us very positive feedback, especially about the carpet.”
Jenny was delighted with the results of the complete refurbishment and she is very hopeful about the positive impact that it would have on the business. “Our revitalised offering will ensure that we stand out as the accommodation provider of choice on the edge of Melbourne,” she said.